I hope that title wasn’t insulting. I know there are several people who raise chickens and know a lot about them and their by-products, namely eggs.
My grocery has changed egg venders. The boxes are flimsy and the eggs are weird.
Some have lumpy, bumpy shells. I’m talking mountain ranges. Those are very fragile and often break in my hand getting them out of the carton.
Others have membranes that are so tough I have to use a sharp knife to get them out and into the pan. I could peel the whole shell off without breaking the membrane.
Many have had double yolks, and several others are shaped like the doubles but aren’t.
My questions are: What causes these aberrations?
Are they dangerous to my family?
Are they dangerous to the chickchicks? (The lumpy shells look like they should have been delivered by c-section.)
Should I be calling anyone, like is there an agency that oversees chicken (ranches? farms? factories?)
Oh and could we hold on the jokes until my question is answered, please?
Chickens just naturally have a lot of variation in the eggs they lay. Normally you never see the deviant eggs, because any that don’t fit the spec are shunted off to industrial food manufacturing, rather than sold as fresh eggs.
So there’s variation in the eggs a particular chicken will lay, and also variation between different types of chickens. Our bantam game hens (this sort of thing) lay small eggs obviously, but the shells are thick and the membranes tough. One of our hens lays really fragile eggs with thin shells that sometimes break when we collect them. And so on.
If you’re seeing lots of weird eggs, I’m wondering if you’re getting “seconds”–the regular eggs are being sold in different lots, and you’re getting the irregulars that can’t be sold in the mass market.
Odd, you don’t usually get that in (inferior :D) grocery store eggs. Typically strange eggs like you describe come from young hens, called pullets, just starting to lay. Their bodies haven’t quite gotten the hang of it yet. Do you see a lot of blood spots in the yolks? But even pullets only rarely lay an odd egg like you’re seeing. If I was getting more than an egg a month like you’re talking about, I’d be worrying about dietary deficiencies in my hens.
However, I don’t think they’re unsafe for your family to eat.
Does the carton have the name of the farm on it?
Hello from my county’s 4-H office! (That’s how you know I’m an expert, right?)
Here’s an infographic detailing more than you ever thought you’d want to know about eggshell aberration.
So, most of these can be caused by infection, weird conditions/changes, age of the hen… lots of things. So it’s hard to judge if your egg supplier is doing the right thing or not.
But your county’s agricultural commissioner can tell you more about animal health regulations and food safety. (Our county’s commissioner, Joe, sits a few cubicles over. He’s great, really nice, and gives me free sweetcorn from time to time. Thanks, Joe!)
Thank you all. By the waym the store isn’t the corner market, it’s a Kroger-owned chain, Fred Meyer.
I think the name of the farm was “Generic”
You got your answer, that’s my cue!
…So the farmer kicks down the hen house door and shouts, “Who’s the Fuckin’ Rooster with the rubber?”